Eating healthy is an arduous, expensive, annoying process. It's so much easier to grab a back of chips and curb your hunger that way. But I also realized the way you feel after eating a healthy meal or snack is much better. You don't feel sick, or too full or guilty. You feel satisified, energized and healthy... Not to mention the reward in the long run... Not being bloated, losing inches around your waist, having better skin, fitting in clothes easily, feeling sexy in underwear... Those things are far better than not caring about what you eat. I know, because I have experienced all these things. I don't miss eating a lot. I learned to know when I am satisfied and keep within my calorie limits. When I do eat a lot, I just feel sick and bloated. It's not a pleasant feeling.
Here is what I have been doing.. On the days I work, I eat a yogurt for breakfast, and sometimes a banana. But mostly just a yogurt. Then for lunch, a have a Lean Cuisine or a low calorie lunch, because on the nights I work, me and my husband go for easy dinners such as Pizza or hot dogs, which are usually high in calories, and everything else, so I try to keep at a very low calorie intake throughout the day.
The days I don't work, I have a nice breakfast consisting of eggs, and maybe some other meat like Turkey bacon or a bagle. Depending the time I wake up, I'll skip lunch and have a fruit, or have a low calorie lunch. Those days I can control my dinner better, because I cook then, so I make sure to cook brocolli, and something healthier, like grilled chicken. I also pay attention to the fat, sugar, carb and sodium contents of the foods I eat, so I try to go for healthier alternatives. For instance, I really like tacos. But I decided to make them with Turkey ground beed and a low sodium Taco mix instead of regular ground beef and regular taco seasoning. Or even if I go to McDonald's (because trust me, my husband will want to go to McDonald's and use his puppy eyes for me to gog with him), I will have a smaller burger and medium fries, and drink water instead of a large meal with a Coke. I feel like those little changes really make a difference.
Little by little, you learn the healthy things you like and make them part of your routine. I also learned that it is impossible to cut off foods you love completely (at least for me). I tried the Paleo diet, the keto, and even fasting, but what has worked for me was keep count of my calorie intake, and every once in a while eat the things I like, in moderation. Maybe if I did cut off carbs or sugar completely, I would be losing weight more quickly, but why lose weight quickly, if I know I won't be able to stay off these things forever? Just so that when I eat them again, I gain all the weight back? I rather lose the weight slowly, and make it a permanent loss, and still eat the things I like.
Plus, it's not easy to be on a diet when you are married to someone who is not. You feel tempted to eat the same things he does, and you also don't want to cook only healthy things if he won't eat it. Therefore I end up having more junk food than I would like to, but I still try to compensate with eating healthy during other days or other times. I still want to be able to go to a restaurant with him or fast food every now and then, and be normal, rather than obsess with every little thing I eat, thus making it an unpleasant experience for him. I found that the secret is, have everything in moderation, know your calories, and your limits. If you pig out one day, make sure you stay in line during the week.
Finally, water, water, water!! I try to drink at least 2 liters a day.
As far as activities go, let me start by saying, once again, that on April 7th, the day I decided to start this whole thing, I was nowhere near an active person. I didn't walk, run, or even lifted as much as a feather. I was really sedentary. All I did was go home, watch TV and eat, and then clean the apartment the days I was off. I started the c25k program on April 17th and I remember how tired I was from running up some hills near my apartment for 30 seconds straight. My lungs were in pain, my back hurt like hell, I did NOT enjoy it at all. Last week, I ran around those same hills, for 25 minutes straight. The only reason I stopped, was because I was getting late for my eye doctor appointment and had to get ready. But I have done 5k's and even ran 4 miles once.
I started crossfit the same week. I remember my whole body was hurting just from doing overhead squats with PVC pipes and body weight squats. Now I can do the work outs just like everyone else, and even did a barbell back squat with 75lbs on my shoulder. I didn't even shake. I have been seeing improvement little by little, on the amount of weight I can lift, reps I can do, distance I can run, etc. It just feels great to be able to do the same things the strong girls are doing. I'm one of the strong girls now! :) I try to go to my crossfit classes 3 times a week, and run at least once.
So now you ask, what has all this done for me?
I have lost 16 pounds in about 4 months. I have gone down 2 sizes of clothing (from 12 to 8). My work pants are all too big. I can wear anything in my closet and look great. It's so funny how, on a daily basis, it doesn't seem like I'm losing weight according to scale, because it feels like I'm always on a Plateau. At first, I plateaud between 155 and 158, then I plateaud between 148 and 153, and now I am at 143 and 145. But when I look back, I went from 160 to 143! So, when they say your body is just getting re-adjusted, I really believe it. So now, when I weigh myself everyday and I see either 144 or 145, I know it's just temporary. Plus, my pants keep getting baggier and baggier, so either they are getting larger or I am getting smaller :)
SO basically, no matter how long I plateau or how many times I might feel weak or fall, as long as I don't give up, I see results eventually!
I think the most rewarding aspect of all this, is having people look at you and be inspired by your changes. Since I started this whole thing, 3 women I know joined crossfit and/or started running. Even my husband started running! People are always commenting on how much weight I lost and how good I look, and that is the best feeling in the world.
I haven't reached my goal yet, but I am more than halfway there, and damn, it feels good.